PSNI says north Lurgan is not a ‘No Go’ area

Chief inspector David Moore
Chief inspector David Moore

The PSNI has vowed that north Lurgan will not become a ‘No-Go’ area following the weekend’s bomb attack.

Hours after the explosion, police were out dealing with various incidents in the area.

Some residents had voiced concern that police would be unable to respond to calls for help after Saturday’s attack.

However, Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon District Commander, Superintendent Davy Moore said: “We respond to all reports of crime and calls for assistance across the district, no matter which area they come from and in the face of a sustained, severe threat from terrorists.

“Every time we respond to a call we must assess the threat not only to the public, but also to police officers and respond accordingly. Effective use of the resources we have is also a factor in any response.

“In relation to the incident at Allenhill on Sunday {see page 3} we maintained contact with the injured parties, we offered medical assistance and we provided advice. Due consideration was given to all available information and officers attended on Monday to conduct local enquiries.

“There is no suggestion that community policing will be reduced in any area in Craigavon and I would call on every member of the local community to help us ensure that those who are so intent on hurting and killing police officers do not succeed in breaking down relationships of trust and partnerships that have been so painstakingly built over the last number of years. Our joint focus must quite clearly remain on tackling criminality and keeping people safe.”

Local Sinn Féin Councillor Keith Haughian said: “The people of north Lurgan are entitled to and require a professional standard of policing. The PSNI must act professionally at all times, especially in tense situations such as we had over the weekend. The police must respond to calls from the community in the most efficient and professional way possible and should not allow these incidents to reduce community policing in the area. If anything community policing needs strengthened and improved in the area, including responding to incidents.”

Meanwhile Clann Eireann GAA club lost out on thousands of pounds of revenue as a direct result of the bomb attack. It was due to host a wedding party on Saturday, with up to 150 guests. However, it had to be cancelled because of the bomb attack.

Dee McKerr, chairman of the club’s youth club committee, said: “It caused major disruption for us as an organisation in terms of one of our member’s daughters was having a wedding party on the Saturday evening.

“Obviously as a result of the disruption that had to be cancelled. It caused major disruption for the family, but also major inconvenience for the club itself.”

Asked how much the loss of the event had cost the club, he said it could have been “in excess of a couple of thousand pounds”.

He added: “Certainly, at the end of the day, our funds are used for the betterment of the community, and for providing leisure time facilities to our members and to our young people. So from that point of view, I don’t think anybody wants to be losing significant amounts of money.”

It is understood that the bride in question was local and had been married on the Friday.